The landscape of healthcare is changing, and professional nurses are key cultivators for influencing, leading, and guiding the evolution of nursing and healthcare delivery systems into the future. Healthcare policy and political advocacy
provide golden opportunities for professional nurses to collaboratively create and implement healthcare systems, processes, practices, and policies that meet the needs of patients and families and also an opportunity to cultivate the clinical discipline of nursing into the future. Professional nurses are natural advocates. There are many stress-free opportunities available at local, regional, and national levels to assist individuals in overcoming personal and/or professional barriers to getting started in political advocacy
. The following article will provide the reader with advocacy
and political context
resources, tools, and knowledge of policy and political context
of the 112th Congress; current political policy issues important to the profession of nursing; an overview of the Nurse in Washington Internship program; and basic background on federal policymaking and how nurses can have an impact on its outcome.